In a major advancement of its services for the US market, comms tech provider Nokia has showcased its first 100Gbps fibre broadband technology in the country, while service provider Metronet is deploying its next-generation passive optical network (PON) to deliver 10Gbps speeds to subscribers with an upgrade path to 25G.
The 100Gbps fibre broadband showcase worked on the basis that while speeds up to 25Gbps are possible on existing optical technologies, higher speeds require new approaches.
The demo was undertaken by the tech firm’s research arm, Nokia Bell Labs, using 100G PON technology in a prototype whose parameters mimicked real-world conditions including fibre distances and power split. In what was said to be an industry first for PON networks, the demonstration also showed flexible data rates.
In the prototype, Nokia Bell Labs also used advanced digital signal processing techniques that it said will be needed for all technologies beyond 25G PON, including 50G and 100G PON.
Metronet describes itself as the largest independently owned, full-fibre optic network provider in the US, and operates fibre-to-the-premises networks that connect homes, businesses and cities with symmetrical gigabit speeds that support high-bandwidth applications such as HD video streaming, surveillance and gaming.
The company provides fibre optic communication services including high-speed internet and full-featured fibre phone.
Metronet started in 2005, with one fibre optic network in Greencastle, Indiana, and has since grown to serve and construct networks in more than 250 communities in 16 states. Its customers include homes, local businesses, retail shops, hospitals, government offices and schools, rolling out XGS-PON in eight new markets, with more communities planned.
Nokia’s XGS-PON systems will allow Metronet to use its existing and newly constructed fibre infrastructure to deploy 10G broadband speeds with a cost-efficient path to 25G. Metronet is also using Nokia’s ONT Easy Start software as a service to speed up and simplify the provisioning of fibre modems in customer homes.
“Nokia is our trusted partner, and its technology is enabling us to future-proof our investments in fibre as we continue to expand our network,” said Metronet president of commercial markets Kevin Stelmach.
“We are also able to future-proof the cities and communities we serve with a communications network that can grow with them, encouraging business investment with virtually limitless capacity available when and where it’s needed,” he said.
“We are already getting great feedback from our existing and new business and consumer customers, who are excited about the possibility of accessing more bandwidth at very affordable prices.”
Nokia’s North America president, Ed Cholerton, said: “We are pleased to continue our partnership with Metronet to provide a system that not only meets the bandwidth demands of its customers today, but also allows backward compatibility with its existing equipment.
“Metronet is deploying a system uniquely capable of delivering GPON, 10G PON and 25G PON without having to replace hardware,” he said. “Metronet is bringing the future of connectivity to cities across the country and using Nokia’s next-gen PON technology to connect underserved regions.”
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